In the first quarter of the current year, Amazon.com made a profit of more than $1bn a month, the company has announced.
Against a sale of $59.7bn, the company made a profit of $3.6bn for the three months ending 31 March, reported a retail and tech giant. The first quarter profits were more than double of that was made a year ago in the same quarter and profit made in the latest quarter was the four straight quarters in a row that the company record profits.
And according to its latest earnings statement, there is a trend of slowness in growth of Amazon. There was a 17 per cent growth in revenues from North America where it had recorded 46 per cent growth last year in the same quarter. And growth in its international business was just 9 per cent for the quarter compared to a growth of 34 per cent in the same quarter last year.
However there was solid growth of 41 per cent in the quarter in the cloud service business of the company, AWS. The customers of this business include names such as Netflix, Unilever, Airbnb and others. However even that stupendous growth rate was lower than the 49 per cent growth it reported last year in the first quarter.
Amidst criticism of its work and business practices has mounted, this opportunity of results reporting was used to give the company a positive spin by its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos.
The company’s Amazon Future Engineer programme which offers scholarships to children and young adults among those who reside in low-income communities so that they are able to pursue careers in computer science, was highlighted by Bezos in a n his letter to shareholders.
“The son of a working single mom, Leo Jean Baptiste grew up speaking Haitian Creole in a New Jersey home without internet access. He’s also one of our inaugural group of 100 high school seniors to receive a $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer scholarship and Amazon internship,” said Bezos. “He rose to the top of his class and is set to study computer science at college this fall, with the dream of getting a job in machine learning.”
Amazon also said that it intends to convert its two-day delivery into just one-day for most Prime orders. The company plans to make an investment of $800 million this spring for achieving that increased speed of deliveries for Prime members.
However this has also created a tense back-and-forth between an Amazon (AMZN) executive and the leader of a major workers’ union.
For Amazon fulfillment center employees, speeding up deliveries could be dangerous, said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Employees are already under constant and severe pressure in managing an average of 200 to 300 orders during a single 12-hour shift, Appelbaum said. “Increasing fulfillment speeds means they need to hire more workers, under more sustainable speeds that don’t put worker’s lives in jeopardy,” Appelbaum said Friday.
RWDSU, which represents workers in brick-and-mortar grocery stores, has advocated for Amazon workers in the past and is trying to help them unionize in some parts of the country. Amazon warehouse workers in the United States aren’t unionized. RWDSU also criticized Amazon’s plan for a second headquarters in New York City. That plan was eventually scrapped.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com and & CNN.com)